What is a Flâneur?

Flâneur is a French term describing someone as a "stroller" or "loafer".  It was used by Charles Baudelaire in his essay The Painter of Modern Life to describe a wanderer, observer, and reporter of urban life in the modern city.  It was often associated with a male figure of leisure.  Flâneuse is used to describe the contemporary female counterpart; however, flâneur is also appropriate. Flâneuring is the intentional act of wandering and exploring. 

SAM_7061.jpg

Another term that is often spoken of when flâneuring is the word Psychogeography.  This was defined by the Situationist International as "the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals." -Internationale Situationniste #1 (Paris, June 1958)

Part of their practice was the dérive - or urban "drift".  It is described as "a mode of experimental behavior linked to the conditions of urban society: a technique of rapid passage through varied ambiances. The term also designates a specific uninterrupted period of dériving." -Internationale Situationniste #1 (Paris, June 1958)